St Lucia's thriving rainforests and balmy climate create the perfect setting for diverse wildlife, with several species found here and nowhere else. One of those species is the St Lucia amazon, known locally as the jacquot. This brightly coloured parrot is extremely rare and spotting one is considered good luck. Other native birds include the white breasted thrasher, the St Lucia peewee and the St Lucia oriole. Lizards also make their home here, including iguanas, which can grow up to six feet long, and the tiny St Lucia whiptail, with its blue and yellow tail. The most feared animal on the island is the venomous but rare lancehead snake, commonly referred to as the 'serpent'. Whales, dolphins and leatherback turtles inhabit the waters surrounding the island and can be seen all year round.
Twenty species of whale can be spotted off St Lucia’s coast, including sperm whales, pilot whales and humpbacks. Make a day of it on a whale watching boat trip, and don’t forget your camera.
From March to August, turtles come to Grand Anse Bay to lay their eggs. Join an evening trip to see endangered green, hawksbill, and leatherback turtles come ashore to lay 60 to 100 precious eggs in a hole in the sand.
Go snorkelling and scuba-diving in St Lucia’s clear waters to see colourful tropical fishes, turtles, nurse sharks and seahorses. The best diving sites include Anse Chastanet, Anse Le Raye, and the Coral Gardens, at the base of the Gros Piton mountain.
The Maria Islands
The windswept Maria Islands are home to more than 120 species of plants, snakes, lizards and butterflies believed to be extinct in the rest of the world. Take a tour with an expert guide to learn about, and hopefully spot, all the islands’ wild inhabitants.